1 billion vaccinations: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus congratulated India
The World Health Organisation has congratulated India in achieving over a billion COVID-19 vaccinations milestone today. Government data shows three-quarters of adults in India have had one shot and around 30 per cent are fully vaccinated.
"Congratulations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, scientists, health workers and the people of India, on your efforts to protect the vulnerable populations from COVID-19 and achieve vaccine equity targets," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted.
The government celebrated the milestone with Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking health workers, special announcements at railway stations and airports and monuments lit up in the national colours.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted, "Congratulations India! This is the result of the visionary PM Modi's able leadership."
The WHO chief's tweet was a reply to PM Modi's tweet announcing the milestone. "India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat," PM Modi tweeted.
India began vaccinations in January and after a slow start, it is now administering around eight million jabs per day.
Exports of vaccines -- halted earlier this year -- have tentatively resumed, with officials saying the "pharmacy of the world" will be back in full swing again in 2022.
Most restrictions on activity have been lifted, with crowds celebrating the festival season -- an important time for the battered economy -- for the first time in two years.
This has sparked concerns about a new wave of infections and a renewed push by the government to push people to get their second shots.
With inputs from AFP